Thanks to some volunteers, this elotero is better than ever.
Benjamín Ramirez captured everyone’s attention this past July when he shot video of his elote cart being flipped over by an angry pedestrian who was later identified as an Argentine singer named Carlos Hakas. Journalist Aura Bogado of LAist has been following Ramirez’s story, and the latest chapter shows that humans can be capable of incredible levels of compassion and kindness.
According to LAist, Benajmín now has a brand new, custom made elotero cart thanks to the labor of different people in the Los Angeles bicycle-making community. According to LAist, Jay Pee, who works for Los Ryderz bike club, and welder Art Ramirez (who is of no relation to Benjamín), first alerted the community to their intention of creating a custom elotero cart for Benjamín. It wasn’t long until a total of 10 people came together to create a moving work of art. After meeting with Benjamín to find out what he needed in a cart, the crew got to work. Benjamín’s new cart includes both traditional and USB outlets to charge his phone, remote-controlled color LED lights, and a powder coat meant to elongate the life of the cart. The project, according to LAist, took five days and cost $2,500 between parts and labor but it was free for Benjamín.
“I was disgusted by what happened [to Benjamín],” Chad Majer, who works with One Big Club and did the electrical work on the cart, told LAist. “So I asked how I could help.”
Another street vendor has been attacked while working. This time, an elotero in Long Beach was viciously attacked by two people in broad daylight. Police and the community are looking for the two and people in Long Beach want to see justice brought against the attackers.
A vicious attack on an elotero was caught on a Ring camera.
According to KTLA, police are searching for two Black men in their 20s who were caught on camera attacking Bililfo Fernandez. The elotero was pistol-whipped and beaten as the two men stole his property and cash during the senseless and unprovoked attack.
In true American fashion, a GoFundMe was set up to cover the old man’s medical bills.
It is common in the U.S. for GoFundMe pages to be set up to cover medical costs for people who are victims of crime or face unexpected health failures. People can be heard screaming to deter the violent attack but no one intervened to help Fernandez while being attacked.
A GoFundMe set up for the elotero has raised more than $80,000 to help the family.
“He is an elotero and goes on his usual routes everyday,” writes his daughter, Erika, who organized the GoFundMe. “He is a very hard working man and known by many. We had to take him to the Emergency Room so that they could help him and treat him because his injuries were pretty severe. His nose and head were busted open with a gun. My dad does not have insurance.Anything will be very much appreciated to help pay for his medical expenses. During these hard times I am currently not working because of covid, so anything will be a blessing for us.”
People on social media are angered by the two men attacking someone taking care of their family during COVID-19.
Latino families are experiencing the devastating financial impacts of COVID-19. Unemployment was highest among the Latino community than any other group of people in the U.S. during the crisis. This elotero was doing what he could to keep his family afloat during the pandemic and faced violence.
People cant wait for just to be served and Latinos are reminding people that this is not a time to let anti-Blackness fester in the Latino community.
Racism is a real issue in the Latino community. While people are angered at this attack, this is not to be used to generalize against the Black community. These are two bad people who attacked a man for his money and property. If you have any information about the two men in the video attacking Fernandez, call the Long Beack Police Department at (562) 435-6711.
Mexico is putting its ingenuity on full display this week after a tamal stand outside a Billie Eilish concert started advertising its products as the “official tamales of Billie Eilish.” The woman working the Tamales García food truck outside the Corona Capital Festival heard the sensational singer start playing “bad guy,” and jumped on the opportunity. Video footage shows the woman doing a million things at once, including cupping her hands to announce to concert goers that hers were the “official tamales of Billie Eilish.”
Mexican Internet is spreading her message even further, calling the marketing strategy as proof of “el ingenio mexicano,” or “Mexican ingenuity.” The original tweet containing the video has been retweeted nearly 3k and liked over 15k, so, we’d say the strategy was a viral success.
“Estos son las tamales oficiales de Billie Eilish, amiga,” the woman tells passerby.
“These are the official tamales of Billie Eilish, friend,” she shouts while preparing other peoples’ orders. The woman’s incredible multitasking skills coupled with the marketing strategy has viewers making her the example of Mexican ingenuity. “Amo el ingenio Mexicano,” tweeted one Julio (@Julio25d). Another person couldn’t help but laugh, tweeting, “HAHAHAHAHA another level of marketing,” in Spanish. “Ay que bonito, se mira el esfuerzo de las personas,” (“Oh how beautiful, look at the people’s efforts”) tweeted La Yessi (@yessi_alvarad0).
Unfortunately, we can’t seem to find any internet presence from Tamales García.
Oh, and Tamales García has the inside scoop: “she likes green and sweet” tamales.
“She likes verde and dulce… take the official tamales of Billie Eilish, friend,” she tells the thousands of people who turned out to hear the 17-year-old artist. Mexican Twitter is joking that they also have the official water of Billie Eilish and Justin Beiber. Others are joking that “if they’re official, then I want ten.” We accept any reason, made-up or not, to consume more tamales. Maybe Tamales García knew that all along, and were marketing on Mexican principles of validation for tamales consumption. Whatever the reason, Mexican Twitter has dubbed this strategy “the best of the best.”
What’s more, Tamales García also considers itself the Official Tamales of the entire Corona Capital music festival.
The annual music festival is held in Mexico City and is going on nine years strong. Other headliners include The Strokes, Weezer, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, Flume, Keane and The Raconteurs. If you look closely enough at their sign, Tamales García is also home to the official tamales of The Strokes, Weezer, Franz Ferdinand, Nick Murphy… you get the picture. That means that customers would read this menu sign and ask for the tamal de Billie Eilish or de The Strokes. If you wanted a Flume tamal, you’d be out of luck, but it seems they’d have an abundance of tamales de Flome. ????
Either Tamales García is incredibly gifted at being home to the taste preferences of a dozen internationally acclaimed artists and bands, or they have a real gift for the marketing value of “official” merch. Their sign even has the official logo of Corona Capital, clearly and skillfully hand-drawn. With so much competition from other tamal vendors in the heart of Mexico City, we have to give it to Tamales García for finding a way to stand out from the crowd. Billie Eilish was the final performance, making her the headling event.
Other folks are wondering what Billie Eilish would have to say about the marketing strategy.
“I’m intrigued … What will be Billie Eilish’s position on the tamales, friend? Do you think the Billie is more of a chicken in salsa verde or something less traditional, like a vegan type? Maybe she likes raisin rosita,” tweeted Pablo Diablo (@heyfungi). Billie Eilish was born and raised in Highland Park, in East Los Angeles, and arguably grew up eating tamales. Eilish was raised vegetarian and regularly promotes veganism to her millions of social media followers. As far as we can tell, the only time Eilish has taken to social media to talk about tamales was in November 2017 when she posted a rare smiling selfie captioned, “when u look like an undercooked tamale but he still love u.”